Thursday, September 4, 2014

Mountain Lake Alpine - Squamish, BC

With the opening of the new Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, alpine adventures have suddenly become far more accessible. However, with improved access comes increased traffic and Sky Pilot, the prominent alpine peak just south of town, has likely seen more ascents this year than in the last 10 combined. Looking to escape the crowds and the summer heat in the valley, we decided to check out Mountain Lake, a beautiful yet tough-to-access zone on the south side of Sky Pilot, far from the burger-eating crowds at the top of the gondola.

It was a good decision. We discovered numerous alpine lakes, perfect for midday dips, and climbed two of the more prominent peaks in the area, Ben Lomond and Mt. Sheer. A well-kept mountain hut provided a nice base from which to explore and gave us a comfy place to cook our meals. The only drawback to this area is the approach to the trailhead: a 9-km 4x4 road blocked by a periodically-locked gate. But to some, this could be seen as a plus since it keeps the crowds at bay. We saw just two humans in three days of hiking and climbing. Bliss...

If you find yourself in Squamish, Mountain Lake is but one of many wonderful alpine locations where you can escape the crowds in the busy valley below. It's a great location to enjoy some excellent mountain scrambles followed by legendary swims in the turquoise lakes below, but you'll need either a truck or an appetite for long road walks to earn this prize.

Marc Bourdon - Squamish, BC

No comments: